ICYMI: Starbucks Red Cups & Christmas Carols

The first week of November is over, which means we’re another week closer to Christmas. Playing Christmas music now is FINE, you guys.

It’s November. Go Ahead. Play Your Christmas Music

Have you noticed that fall gets a lot less cute in November? All of those bright, crisp leaves have fallen to the ground, and now they’re just a brown, soggy chore. By the way, you know what else is hidden under that blanket of brown leaves? Brown dog poop, which is more or less impossible to find now. It’s like the world’s worst Easter egg hunt every time I try to clean up after my dog. I do realize that this marks me as a person who has both a house and a dog, so I know: champagne problems. Nevertheless, it’s cruddy to be sitting at work and realizing, like an grown-up urban legend, that the smell is coming from your own shoe.

To make matters worse, we turned the clocks back last week. I’m not so stupid as to think that this actually took away an hour of daylight, but it did shift it from the evening to the morning, and now we have to negotiate the reality that we won’t be leaving work in the daylight until February.

Even my girl Louisa May Alcott knew what was up:

“November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year,” said Margaret, standing at the window one dull afternoon, looking out at the frostbitten garden.

“That’s the reason I was born in it,” observed Jo pensively, quite unconscious of the blot on her nose.”

Preach, Margaret.

For the above reasons, I submit that – except for Thanksgiving, God do I love Thanksgiving – the best parts of fall are over and it’s totally cool if you want to play Christmas music.

Christmas music in November is an economically-sound choice. See, if you’re the kind of person who likes Christmas music in the first place, you probably have a decent-sized collection of it. We have roughly seven weeks until Christmas, and now that I say it that does sound very far away (because it is). But bear with me. Let’s say you have 15 Christmas albums. That isn’t even hard to do. A few of those compilations from Bath And Body Works or Starbucks which were surprisingly good in the early 2000s, some boy band stuff even if you never listen to them the other 10 months of the year (NKOTB, N Sync, All-4-One, Boyz II Men), the classics (Mariah is a classic). If you’re going to listen to one full album a day, which you probably wouldn’t, you’re listening to each album every other week or so. That means you’re only listening to each one 3-4 times. Any less than that and you aren’t even getting a return on your investment. It’s simple economics! Or maybe Common Core math. Either way.

In the mood now? Here’s a playlist to help kick things off. Just a few of our favorite holiday jams for your listening pleasure.

Playlist of the Month: A Very Cookies + Sangria Christmas

For this month’s playlist, the last and final one of 2013, we decided to stick with a traditional theme and go with our favorite holiday songs. I’m sure by now you’ve heard plenty of them on rotation already, but what’s a few more? Happy listening! And Merry Christmas/Happy Belated Hanukkah/Happy Kwanzaa/Happy December to all!!!

Click here to listen to the entire playlist on Spotify!

Traci’s Picks

If Everyday Could Be Christmas – 98 Degrees

I’m warning y’all now, my portion of the playlist will be pop heavy and seem like a tween in 2000 made it. Mainly because I still feel like I am. I’m starting off with 98 Degrees, because I think this album was overlooked by a lot of people (I don’t blame you), but I think it’s actually their second best album out of anything they’ve ever released. Their strong suit was always their acappella skills, and it’s prominently shown in this song.

(PS: That video is ridic but the only version I could find!)

Maybe This Christmas – Ron Sexsmith

Anyone out there celebrate Chrismukkah? Anyone out there celebrate Christmukkah because of Seth Cohen? Well we can thank our fave faux Newport Beach resident for bringing that term into our lives, and we can also thank The OC for bringing great songs into our lives. Music was always an integral part of the show, and come Chrismukkah time, it was no different. I’ve been listening to this song ever since it was on one of the holiday eps and it never gets old.

Last Christmas – Glee Cast Version

Last Christmas is possibly my favorite modern day holiday song, and obviously many artists have covered it. I opted to choose this song featuring Lea Michele and Cory Monteith. I’ve never been a real hard core fan of the show, but for some reason his death really got to me and still gets me to this day. But it’s nice to know his talent and legacy will live on through the show and its music.

My Only Wish (This Year) – Britney Spears

This song was featured on the Platinum Christmas album which was released in 2000. For those who didn’t grow up listening to this like I did, it featured the biggest names in pop music including my beloved BSB, ‘N Sync, Christina Aguilera, TLC, Monica and more. I personally think this track by Brit Brit is one of her best in general, it’s just so fun and uplifting and you can’t help but dance to it. Speaking of dance to it, my friend and I may or may not have made up a ridiculous dance to this song in college. Private viewings available for a fee.

What Christmas Means to Me – Hanson

Snowed In. Classic Christmas album of the 90s and beyond. Zak sounds like a baby here, but hey, they still sound better than I ever did as a teenager.

*Ed. Note: We usually pick 5 songs each, but I couldn’t decide, so here are two bonus songs for as your Christmas bonus this year 🙂

It’s Christmas Time Again – Backstreet Boys

I like the Backstreet Boys and you can’t stop me from putting them on this list. So suck it. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson

It’s about time KC did a Christmas album and her lead single is reminiscent of Mariah’s All I Want for Christmas is You. Although it’s nowhere near the popularity of MC, Kelly is giving her a run for her money with this jam.

Molly’s Picks

I Wish It Was Christmas Today by Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan

In the 2000 years of Christmas songs, is this really one of the best EVER? If you go by the giddy Christmas-y feeling you get every time it airs on the SNL Christmas episode, maybe it is. The great thing about this song – and I’d say this of the original SNL cast performing Winter Wonderland as well – is that while it somewhat pokes fun at stupid Christmas songs, it does so without being nasty or cynical. It’s pure holiday happiness.

All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey

90s kids know what I’m talking about. If you can, get your hands on All I Want For Christmas Is You (Extra Festive). How can you make this song MORE festive, you may ask? Well,  add some bells and shit and make the beginning of it sound like a song from Beauty And The Beast: The Musical. By the way, of course Ariana Grande has covered this and of course it’s amazing.

Once In Royal David’s City by Sufjan Stevens (cover)

I won’t fill the playlist with them, but my real favorite Christmas songs are all traditional hymns that are a little less common than Silent Night and Adeste Fidelis. So, imagine my delight that Sufjan Stevens has covered Lo How A Rose E’er Blooming, The Friendly Beasts, Once In Royal David’s City, Bring A Torch Jeanette, Isabella, and I Saw Three Ships

The Rebel Jesus by Jackson Browne

Leave it to Jackson Browne to cut through all of the sap and remind us what we message we really should be taking from the Christmas story.

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues

Sometimes you need a Christmas song with lyrics like  “you’re a bum, you’re a punk/ you’re an old slut on junk”.” Besides, I’m making my list first and in the spirit of the holiday, I should probably leave some of the White Christmas/Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas-like classics for my friend.


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